I’d love nothing more than to be a fly on the wall in the meeting at Milanese tire company Pirelli in 1964, when somebody like the work experience guy first suggested making a raunchy calendar. “Except, we’ll only use supermodels,” I imagine he’d have muttered nervously, to the big dogs smoking cigars in their leather chairs. “We’ll get all the best photographers to shoot it, and we’ll only give it to VIPs and really important clients.”
50 years later, the Pirelli calendar remains one of the most desired and revered objects to be produced by the motoring industry. Featuring photographers including Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino, and shooting in locations all around the world, it represents a lavish and unashamedly sexy side of the fashion industry, and marks the high point of scores of supermodels’ careers.
To mark the 50th anniversary of this legendary institution, TASCHEN has created a retrospective of 50 years of the calendar – a comprehensive volume containing behind-the-scenes photographs of the shoots, the unpublished 1963 edition, and a selection of censored images which were considered to be too risky by editors at the time of publication. It’s a object which screams of desire, and unsurprisingly, we want it.
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